Canada’s main stock market ended the week marginally lower, as declines in the Energy sector overshadowed the Canadian economy adding nearly 20,000 jobs in March.

stock market
stock market
The Toronto Stock Exchange’s benchmark Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite slipped 30.05 points, or 0.19 percent to finish the day at 15,667.13 points. Six of the ten sub-groups closed the session in negative territory.

Prior to markets opening, Statistics Canada reported that 19,400 jobs were created in March, nearly quadrupling the 5,000 analysts had anticipated. This marks the third consecutive month of five-digit job growth with a total of 83,000 jobs added in the first quarter of 2017, a 0.5 percent increase.

During the month, the unemployment rate ticked up 0.1 percent to 6.7 percent due to a sharp 47,000 increase to the labour force.

Douglas Porter, Chief Economist at BMO Capital Markets believes this positive news is a good sign for the long-term but will not prompt Bank of Canada to make any immediate policy changes ahead of their quarterly report next week.

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“This is just yet another piece of evidence that the economy has broken out of its two-year lull, a breakout that appears to have started around the middle of 2016,” Porter wrote in a report. “Even so, we suspect that the Bank of Canada will continue to accentuate the downside risks in next week’ s Monetary Policy Report, and one mixed jobs report is not going to make a dent in their view,” he concluded.

During the trading session, the TSX energy was the biggest laggard group despite the price of crude oil closing at a one-month high following the U.S. missile strikes on a Syrian airbase Thursday evening. The price of a barrel of Brent delivered in June rose 0.60 percent to 55.17 U.S. dollars. Weighing down the group down was May natural gas futures on the on the New York Mercantile Exchange slipping 2.59 percent to 3.249 U.S. dollars per million British thermal units.

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Calgary-based Cenovus Energy Inc and Crescent Point Energy Corp were hit the hardest, falling 2.32 percent and 2.26 percent, apiece. Meanwhile, shares of Suncor Energy Inc, the largest producer of crude oil in the country, slipped 0.53 percent to close the week at 41.47 Canadian dollars (30.92 U.S. dollars).

The remaining groups that closed the week behind were: Information Technology (0.58 percent), Materials (0.46 percent), Industrials (0.32 percent), Financials (0.23 percent), and Health Care (0.05 percent).

The Materials group, which is made up of producers of gold, precious metals, and raw materials ended the week lower after the spot price of silver plummeted 1.54 percent to two-week low of 17.96 U.S. dollars an ounce.

Vancouver-based miner Silver Wheaton Corp weighed down the group as the fifth most traded stock during the session with a volume exceeding 5.6 million shares and closed the session at 28.08 Canadian dollars (20.94 U.S. dollars), a 1.72 percent decline. Silver miners Fortuna Silver Mines Inc and MAG Silver Corp contributed with losses of 2.73 percent and 0.85 percent, each.

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Not all groups lost ground on Friday, as Telecommunications led a pack of four groups with a 0.58 percent gain to close the week on a high. Montreal-based BCE Inc shares jumped 1.05 percent to 60.40 Canadian dollars (45.04 U.S. dollars), while rival Rogers Communications Inc advanced 0.49 percent to close at 59.69 Canadian dollars (44.51 U.S. dollars) a share.

The remaining sectors to close the week on a high note were: Consumer Discretionary (0.24 percent), Utilities (0.06 percent), and Consumer Staples (0.05 percent).

The Canadian dollar ticked up 0.04 cents to close the week at 0.7457 U.S. dollars. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh